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06-28-2011, 12:44 AM
Talks to Goalposts
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
We've been a bubble team most of the time usually finishing with 93 points. Can't really blame folks for prognosticating that we'd be a bubble team most of the time because that's exactly what we've been.

And on many occassions, they'd be right. We've had some of the best goaltending in the league for years and most of the time we've finished around 8th place.
Yes, but that a far bit better than the Leafs have been during the same period. Hence how they really shouldn't be considered the Habs' peers. The most comparable franchises for Montreal in the post-lockout years are Buffalo and NYR, although Montreal has been better than both in the last 4, while typically close but somewhat behind Boston during that time frame. Hence Montreal is much more of a peer competitor to Boston than they are to the Leafs.

Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
You could be right though, they might be better as soon as this year. Personally, I think they're going to be absolutely amazing within a couple of years and they've done exactly what I've been arguing we should do for a long time now so if it happens it's going to really piss me off. Tons of elite prospects/young players in that organization now.

Signing Bryzgalov is okay, but 9 years just made no sense to me. Why not go for a guy like Rask?

I see it as a classic rebuild. They didn't believe in their core and dealt for picks and prospects to go along with their young guys like Giroux and JVR. And I think it will pay off for them in the long run as long as some of those stupid (Briere, Bryzgalov) contracts don't get in the way
They had a team model that made them consistantly one of the top teams in the East and in striking distance of the Cup. They traded that for hopes and dreams. Their forward group is far worse then it was before as Richards, Carter and Giroux were the core pieces which the other guys complemented. Briere can't pick up the slack and maintain his production, he was getting largely offensive zone starts (53.1% to Richards 46.8) against 3rd and 4th lines. He also got the most even strength ice time among Philadelphia forwards, so don't think he'll get more points by playing more either. Schenn is a rookie who needs to be sheltered so the defensively suspect Briere has to face top lines.

Philadelphia was a scary offensive team because they had so many strong forwards that they were a the hardest team in the league to get favourable line matchups against. It'll probably be at least two years of developement time for Schenn and Couturier before they can do that again. Once that happens they have to deal with their defensive situation. Frankly I think they've bought themselves years as a 5-9 bubble team with their moves.

Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Burke has shown that he can be a good GM. I just think he should stick with building through the draft because he's not likely to sign both Niedermayer, Selanne and Pronger anytime soon. He fluked out with luck on those deals and it's almost like he thinks he'll be able to do it again.

He'd be better off doing what he did in Vancouver and mastermind how to get top picks that he can build around like the Sedins.

There's been an improvement there (somewhat) but he gave up Hamilton and Seguin... brutal, brutal move even if it was for a young sniper. Those kinds of moves absolutely kill franchises. And he's lucky they're in TO because if he was in an expansion market the fans would've left long ago.
More than anything else Burke is an aggressive GM. This makes him popular among certain fans and media members but it results in as many blunders (Kessel) as coups (Sedins).

Its to be expected that Toronto will be accumulating assets on aggregate while Montreal spends them. One is rebuild/retooling while another is trying to compete. But compare the state of the two franchises. Montreal consistantly makes the playoffs while Toronto consistently doesn't. Compare the young players on favorable contracts in the organization it comes out about equal, if not in favor of Montreal. Personally, I'd take

Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Eller, Desharnais, Yemelin, Weber


Reimer, Schenn, Kulemin, Kadri, Colburne, Gunnerson, Aulie

And like Beauleiu over Percy and Biggs.

The present and future currently favours Montreal over Toronto IMO.

Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
I guess we'll see on this. Over the next few years I think the East will definitely get stronger. Philly and Boston have incredible youth to build with and I think they'll be super scary. TB has already jumped to the next level. Pittsburgh and Washington's cores are still young. It's going to be a lot tougher in the next few seasons than it has been in the past.
I see Washington's famous team offense evolving into a 1 line hockey team much like Ottawa and Tampa before them as Laich Flechmann and Knuble leave.

I've already noted what I think of Philadelphia.

I see Tampa and Pittsburg as the elite Eastern teams going forward and no reason Montreal can't position themselves to inherit New Jersey's position as the pre-eminent veteran defensive team in the East. The key pieces in an elite goaltender (Price), 2 top-end all situations defensemen (Subban and Markov), and a high level two-way forward (Plekanec) are there and can be built on.

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